A Pair of Twins - Kavitha Mandana(2014)


         (Tradition :  Dussehra is an Indian festival. It is an ancient custom in India, that during 'Dussehra' festival, a bull elephant with his mahout, heads the procession, which is the highlight of the festival.) 


Dreams don't have gender

        
         This story circles about a young girl and a cow elephant.The 'unusual' twins, the girl and the cow elephant (named 'Sundari' and 'Lakshmi'), born on the same day, develop a special bonding. The girl dreams of becoming a chief mahout (a person who rides and controls an elephant). But that profession is reserved only for boys of  the family.


           Not very long, the bull elephant 'Drona' (father of 'Lakshmi', who usually heads the 'Dussehra' procession) falls sick. With the festival 'Dussehra' coming soon, everyone is looking for a new bull elephant, who can fill 'Drona's position. But no other bull elephant is majestic enough to fill the shoes of 'Drona'. Now, the girl is finally given a chance to live her dreams, taking her beloved cow elephant along the path, against the predefined age old custom prevailed. All being set, she has only one problem. What is the problem? How is it solved?

         

                       "What if a girl wanted to be a mahout (elephant rider), a profession highly reserved for men?"


My Comment:


            The path women travelled to attain today's height, is long. And, this story is one another gem, that illuminates that path. Though a fiction, I admire this book, which talks about a girl's dream, to take on a profession, which is highly reserved for men. 

           To start with, I was totally attracted by those rich, vibrant illustrations. Apart from the amazing cover image, each and  every page of the book is a visual treat for the readers. (Especially, the last two pages, showing Sundari in her special dress, are mesmerizing). While the pictures enchant us, the narration fills us with the emotions of every character and make a firm grip towards the story. The author has weaved an excellent story line, that is simple to follow and vast to cover the theme.


            With a story about a girl's dreams, this book fits grade school kids more. (Though, my second grader asked why a girl cannot be a chief mahout. Obviously he didn't get the age old patriarchal system, which I have to explain). Being a story based on India, it would have been good if there is an introduction about the festival 'Dussehra', for the sake of international readers.

              Summing up, this book touches a vast array of topics like traditions, cultures, dreams, women empowerment and sketches them into a beautiful art.


                




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10 comments:

  1. Hopping on over as part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop. I am so interested in learning more about this tradition. Who is the publisher? Is this a self-published book?

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    1. Hi, I am glad about your interest. 'Karadi Tales' is the publisher's name. I got this book from public library.

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  2. How very interesting a topic to read. A wonderful intro to traditions. Def looking for this at the library. Thanks for sharing on KidLItBlogHop

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    1. Hi Resh, Of course it is an amazing story to introduce diversified traditions. Happy Reading!

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  3. Wow, what a gem of a book, so empowering. We will pin it for future reading. Thanks so much for joining the Kid Lit Blog Hop

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    1. Hi, have a wonderful time reading. Thanks.

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  4. I love how this book is multicultural! Thanks so much for sharing at the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

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    1. Thanks, Pragmatic Mom, for sharing the love of book around.

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  5. Thank you for your thoughtful review. I love elephants and will definintely seek this out! #kidlitbloghop

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    1. Thanks. In first place, elephants are the initial reason, why this book come into our reading list. Since the story is based on elephants, I thought my kids would enjoy it and checked it out from library.

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